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Private jet catches fire on takeoff in Massachusetts, seven dead

(Reuters) - Seven people were killed on Saturday when a private Gulfstream IV jet caught fire and crashed as it tried to take off from a small airfield near Boston, aviation authorities said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the incident occurred at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts, 20 miles northwest of Boston, en route to Atlantic City in New Jersey.

The FAA said the plane was reported to have caught fire as it tried to lift off.

Matt Brelis, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs the airport, confirmed that seven people had been on the plane and all were killed. Identities and ages of the dead were not available, Brelis said.

The Port Authority's website said Hanscom Field had been closed temporarily. The FAA said it and the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate the crash.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Mark Heinrich)